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Dingli and its Parish
Dingli and its Parish
   
Dingli & its Parish
Parish Priests
   

The story of the parishes of Ħad-Dingli and of Ħal-Tartarni are intertwined together, with the latter acting as a fitting introduction to the establishment of the new village and parish of Ħad-Dingli. The Roll of Parish Priests dates back to 1436, this being the earliest date on record as written down in Bishop De Mello's document. The Parish Priests of Ħal-Tartarni were :

  1. Dun Guglielmo Zammit : 1436 - n/a
  2. Dun Antonio Ruros : n/a - 1501
  3. Dun Orlando Vitali : 1501 - 1528
  4. Dun Antonio Vitali : 1528 - 1532
  5. Dun Matteo Surdo ; 1532 - 1533
  6. Dun Nicola de Armanino : 1533 - 1536
  7. Dun Pietro Desguanez : 1536 - 1539

Ħal-Tartarni was suppressed as a Parish and had its title removed during the tenure of Parish Priest Desguanez. It was during this time that the people of Ħal Tartarni moved to the area of Ħad-Dingli, thus linking the two hamlets for posterity. Historians claim that this could have been a deliberate move by Desguanez who was related to the noble family Inguanez who owned large tracts of land in the area which was to be developed as Ħad-Dingli. In this manner, the people were guaranteed their livelyhood by working for Inguanez, who in return offered shelter and security which Ħal-Tartarni could not afford. The Inguanez country retreat can still be seen today at the area known as Djar il-Bniet. The first six Parish Priests of Ħad-Dingli only held the title of Rector. These were :

  1. Dun Nicola de Armanino : 1539 - 1541
  2. Dun Pietro Zammit : 1541 - n/a
  3. Dun Guglielmo Saliba : 1553 - n/a
  4. Dun Gio-Paolo Bigen : 1589 - 1592
  5. Dun Vincenzo Callus : 1593 - 1594
  6. Dun Giacomo Scicluna : 1594 - n/a

Dun Giacomo Scicluna had the honour to be effectively appointed Parish Priest when Ħad-Dingli was erected to the dignity of Parish by Bishop Gargallo. Thus Scicluna's name went down in hidtory as the first ever Parish Priest of the newly initiated parish. Three other Parish Priests followed in his footsteps.

  1. Dun Giacomo Scicluna : n/a - n/a
  2. Dun Simeone Fenech ; 1615 - 1643
  3. Dun Vincenzo Musci : 1644 - 1646
  4. Dun Raimondo Mifsud : 1645 - 1668

1668 remains a black date in the history of Ħad-Dingli. Following the death of Bishop Bueno, Capitular Vicar Dun Gio-Antonio Cauchi was temporarily appointed to lead the local church until a new Bishop was installed. One of Cauchi's orders, later to be declared as abusive, was that of suppressing the Parish of Ħad-Dingli, although the church itself still maintained its title of Parish. However, the story of the new parish which had started barely seventy years before, seemed to have arrived to its untimely death. In the absence of its proper status of parish, the church of Ħad-Dingli was to be administered by a vice-Parish Priest, instead of a Parish Priest proper. the list of Vice Parish Priests during this dark period includes two names :

  1. Dun Gio-Maria Mifsud
  2. Dun Antonio Aquilina

It was on 31st December 1678 when Bishop Molina, appointed by the Holy See as Bishop of these islands, declared Cauchi's suppression as abusive and re-instated the village of Ħad-Dingli as an autonomous parish as from that golden date, also re-instating Dun Raimondo Mifsud as Parish Priest. Since that time, there have been no other interruptions in our Parish Church's history. Present day Parish Priests can trace back their direct lineage to their predecessors as from 1678, as shown in this list :

  1. Dun Raimondo Mifsud : 1678 - 1679
  2. Dun Andrea Spiteri : 1679 - 1681
  3. Dun Bernard Dingli : 1681 - 1688
  4. Dun Duminku Cumbo : 1688 - 1695
  5. Dun Ġużeppi Mizzi : 1696 - 1709
  6. Dun Ġużeppi Pace : 1710 - 1712
  7. Dun Ġwakkin Camilleri : 1712 - 1714
  8. Dun Ġakobb Murga : 1714 - 1728
  9. Dun Injazju Vella : 1728 - 1763
  10. Dun Feliċ Vassallo : 1763 - 1775
  11. Dun Ġużeppi Zerafa : 1775 - 1784
  12. Dun Ġużeppi Vassallo : 1787 - 1794
  13. Dun Ġużeppi Formosa : 1794 - 1800
  14. Dun Ġwann Grech : 1801 - 1808
  15. Dun Nikol Camilleri : 1809 - 1837
  16. Dun Anton Vassallo : 1840 - 1846
  17. Dun Franġisk Buttigieg : 1847 - 1848
  18. Dun Andrea Mallia : 1849 - 1863
  19. Dun Anton Grech Falzon : 1865 - 1872
  20. Dun Ġużeppi Salnitro : 1872 - 1874
  21. Dun Teodoru Galea : 1875 - 1877
  22. Dun Vinċenz Callus : 1878 - 1882
  23. Dun Franġisk Manché : 1882 - 1884
  24. Dun Ġużeppi Rizzo : 1884 - 1892
  25. Dun Franġisk Muscat : 1895 - 1901
  26. Dun Vinċenz Curmi : 1902 - 1913
  27. Dun Pawl Azzopardi : 1913 - 1932
    (Azzopardi was born and raised in Ħad-Dingli)
  28. Dun Ġużeppi Lanzon : 1933 - 1941
  29. Dun Carmelo Azzopardi : 1941 - 1961
  30. Dun Anton Muscat : 1961-1964
  31. Dun Pawl Caruana : 1964 - 1974
  32. Dun Carmelo Frendo : 1974 - 1978
  33. Dun Ġużeppi Pace : 1978 - 1981
  34. Dun Vinċenz Cachia : 1981 - 1985
  35. Dun Richard Borg : 1985 - 1994
  36. Dun Trevor Fairclough : 1994 - 2002
  37. Dun Reuben Deguara : 2002 - 2006
  38. Dun Norman Żammit : 2006 - 2011
  39. Dun Ewkarist Żammit : 2011 - 2015

Dingli Parish is elevated to the title of Arċipretali
On 22 August 2015, eve of the titular feast of Santa Marija, at the end of the solemn high mass, H.G. Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna declared the parish of Dingli as Arċipretali, Archpresbiterial Church, and decreed that as from henceforth the Kappillan, the Parish Priest, should be referred to as Arċipriet, Archpriest. Thus Dun Ewkarist Zammit brought to an end the list of Parish Priests and became the first Arċipriet of Dingli.

  1. Dun Ewkarist Zammit : 2015 - 2018
  2. Dun Mark Mallia Pawley : 2018